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THE WORK OF EVANGELIZATION TODAY
Fr. Steven Scherrer, MM, ThD
Homily of Friday, the Feast of St. Luke, Evangelist, October 18, 2013
2 Tim. 4:9-17, Ps. 144, Luke 10:1-9


"Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you'" (Luke 10:9).


Jesus sent his disciples in mission to heal the sick and to preach that the kingdom of God has come near to them. He sends us out too to preach the kingdom of God that has come into the world in himself, in Jesus Christ the Son of God, incarnate as a man for the entire world. God incarnated himself only once in the world, and he became incarnate for all the peoples and nations of the world. Therefore he gave to us who believe in him a mission to the whole world to make his incarnation, saving death, and glorious resurrection known to all the peoples and nations of the world. This is the mission that Christ gave to his Church.


A missionary announces the kingdom of God that is within us who believe in Christ, for he lives in our heart (John 14:23). We experience the salvation of God that is in his only Son Jesus Christ. We know the liberation from our sins and guilt that he gained for us by his death on the cross, where he justified us who believe in him by suffering for us the penalty we owed for our sins, thus freeing us from them. The result is that we now have a new life in the light of his resurrection, a life of peace with God and peace with ourselves, a heavenly peace that is the consequence of the liberation from sin that comes to us through our faith in the merits of Christ's death on the cross.


Then he sends us to others to share with them this wealth, this salvation, this new life in the light that we have through our faith in Christ. All this comes to us from his Paschal Mystery, from his death on the cross and resurrection. It is about this that we are sent out to preach. Therefore we preach salvation from sin through Christ and our new life in the light and in the peace of Christ that we have received through our faith in the merits of his death on the cross and resurrection.


This proclamation brings good and healing news to the sick. It gives them the peace of Christ in their heart, and at times even health to their bodies as well. This mission helps everyone, especially those who are sick in spirit for having sinned and lost God's peace in their heart. We proclaim a message of peace with God and spiritual happiness. This is the reality of the kingdom of God on earth that exists in the hearts of those who believe in Christ. "The kingdom of God is within you," Jesus said (Luke 17:21 NKJV).


We also proclaim the kingdom of God to non-Christians as well so that they too might have the opportunity to hear and believe in the good news about Jesus Christ. The message, the gospel, that we preach is the good news of salvation through Christ's death on the cross and resurrection. We can use all the means of communication to preach Christ to Christians and non-Christians alike, including the internet. We are to invite all to repentance and faith in Christ for their salvation.


St. Luke, whom we honor today, was an evangelist, a preacher of the gospel, a model for us in this.

 

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